Doug Haughey, chair of the board of directors of Fortis Inc., headquartered in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, recently announced the retirement of Barry Perry, president and CEO, effective December 31, 2020. David Hutchens, currently chief operating officer of Fortis and CEO of UNS Energy, will succeed Perry and join the board, effective January 1, 2021.

Perry made a personal decision to retire after a nearly 35-year career, over 20 of which were with Fortis. He has led the corporation since 2015. Prior to his current position, he served as president and vice president (finance) and chief financial officer.

“I’m humbled to have spent the past two decades of my career with Fortis. It’s been an incredible journey to lead the company during a time of such transformational growth. Thank you to our employees, both past and present, for contributing to the success of Fortis,” said Perry. “Fortis has become a North American utility leader focused on a cleaner energy future. I have absolute confidence that David and the team will continue to serve our customers well, advance our strategy and grow Fortis for years to come.”

Barry Perry, retiring president of Fortis Inc.

In expressing his support for Hutchens, Perry said: “David has decades of utility experience, including as CEO of our subsidiary UNS Energy in Arizona. He has a deep understanding of our business, strategy and culture, is forward-focused, an innovative thinker and most importantly, shares the values of Fortis.”

Hutchens was appointed chief operating officer of Fortis in January 2020 while concurrently serving as the CEO of UNS Energy. In this position, Hutchens was integral in the development of the corporation’s strategic business plan and led initiatives on safety and operational excellence. In his prior role, he served as executive vice president, western utility operations with Fortis beginning in January 2018. In this role, Hutchens maintained his responsibility as president and CEO of UNS Energy and provided oversight of the operations of FortisBC and FortisAlberta.

“I would like to sincerely thank Barry Perry for his outstanding leadership and immense contributions over the past 20 years,” said Haughey. “Barry led the Corporation’s acquisition of our largest business, ITC Holdings, the listing of Fortis on the New York Stock Exchange and, following our strategic expansion into the United States, he successfully pivoted the Corporation toward organic growth. Total shareholder return during Barry’s leadership of Fortis was 105%, or approximately 12% per year. Furthermore, Barry advanced many priorities at the Corporation, including safety, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, investor relations and cybersecurity.”

David Hutchens, incoming president of Fortis Inc.

“We are pleased to announce David Hutchens as the next President and CEO of Fortis,” said Haughey. “David has been a key leader in the Fortis organization and offers a unique combination of operational and regulatory expertise in both the electric and gas sectors. David is the right choice to advance the Corporation’s growth strategy and support a cleaner energy future.”

Hutchens has been with UNS Energy for 25 years, advancing through various management positions, overseeing wholesale energy trading and marketing, and energy efficiency and resource planning. He assumed the position of president and CEO, UNS Energy in 2014. He earned a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Arizona and is a former nuclear submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. Hutchens is a member of the Edison Electric Institute’s board of directors, the Western Energy Institute board of directors and numerous other charity and civic organizations.

“I’m excited about leading Fortis into a new chapter of growth driven by our transition to a cleaner energy future,” said Hutchens. “Our continued focus on energy delivery, our effective business model supporting our growth strategy, proven dividend track record and outlook, and our strong ESG profile make Fortis a premium North American utility. With my colleagues, I look forward to leading this incredible company, inspiring excellence in customer service and strengthening our partnerships with community and industry.”

“Fortis will remain a Canadian-headquartered company and our success in this evolving industry will continue to be built on our strong foundation of safety, culture, responsibility, and commitment to our customers, employees and communities,” added Hutchens.

“I’d like to thank Barry for his tremendous contributions to Fortis,” said Hutchens of his predecessor. “His insights, passion and leadership are widely recognized in our industry and have been greatly appreciated by those of us fortunate enough to work closely with him.”

Fortis is a diversified leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry, with 2019 revenue of $8.8 billion and total assets of $56 billion as at June 30, 2020. The corporation’s 9,000 employees serve utility customers in five Canadian provinces, nine U.S. states and three Caribbean countries.

Featured images from Fortis Inc.

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